US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jan 2022 to May 2022

: Malaysia recommends that ASEAN open informal talks with the National Unity Government in Myanmar, to promote dialogue between the two sides of the ongoing conflict. Regime head and coup leader Min Aung Hlaing objects strenuously to the proposal.

: Former State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and leader of the National League for Democracy is sentenced to five years in detention on corruption charges, adding to a previous sentence of six years. She faces other corruption charges as well as trials for violation of the Official Secrets Act.

: Philippines and the United States launch an inaugural maritime dialogue in Manila, covering topics such as the need to strengthen a rules-based order in the South China Sea.

: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana meet at the Pentagon to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

: United Malays National Organization (UMNO) announces that it will put forward Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as its candidate in general elections. The announcement all but ensures that elections will be held before the end of the year.

: In a Facebook posting, Singapore Prime Minister Lee appoints Finance Minister Lawrence Wong as head of the People’s Action Party (PAP), effectively anointing Wong as the next prime minister.

: US and Indonesian navies conduct three days of at-sea operations in the South China Sea.

: Indonesian Chief of Navy Adm. Yudo Margono makes his inaugural visit to the Pentagon and meets US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday. Indonesia currently has two midshipmen at the US Naval Academy for the first time.

: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong visits Washington and meets President Biden to discuss the invasion of Ukraine, China, Myanmar, and other issues of concern.

: State Department Counselor Derek Chollet visits the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan to discuss regional issues, Myanmar and the crisis in Ukraine.

: US Treasury Department announces a new tranche of sanctions against Myanmar, which include entities providing arms to the military regime. The announcement also serves as a designation that the Tatmadaw committed genocide against the Muslim Rohingya in 2017 and Karen villagers in December 2021.

: US and Philippine Armed Forces conduct the 37th iteration of the Balikatan (“Shoulder-to-Shoulder”) Exercises. This year’s exercises focus on maritime security, amphibious operations, counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance.

: Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhoon makes his first visit to Naypyidaw in his capacity as the ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar.

: US, Singaporean and Thai militaries participate in the 26th iteration of Exercise Cope Tiger at Korat Royal Air Force Base in Thailand.

: Singapore announces that it will impose unilateral export controls on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

: ASEAN releases a joint statement on the Ukraine crisis, urging all parties to show “restraint” but not mentioning the Russian invasion of the country.

: US and Thailand host a scaled-down version of the Cobra Gold Exercises, with a focus on humanitarian training drills instead of traditional war games. 1,200 US and 2000 Thai troops were joined by military personnel from India, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, and China. Launched in 1982, Cobra Gold is the longest-running multinational military exercise.

: Cambodia hosts ASEAN Foreign Ministers “retreat.” Since ASEAN member states cannot agree on representation from Naypidaw, Myanmar is not represented.

: Biden administration announces new sanctions on Myanmar, in concert with Canada and the UK, adding seven individuals and two entities connected to the junta to the list.

: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visits Myanmar, the first ASEAN head of state to do so since the February 2021 coup. He meets with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and international relief officials in the hope of jumpstarting the ASEAN Five Point Consensus Plan.

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